So, thread title, I finally played FF13 (kind of, haven't finished it just yet but I'll get to that in a minute) and I kind of wanted to talk about it. I didn't want to necro an old thread so here I am. I wanted to talk about a few things I liked, a few things I didn't and see what other people felt/thought about the game.
First, the first 5-10 hours or so were INCREDIBLY BORING. It was only my sheer love for the Final Fantasy series that kept me through it. The characters were whiny, flat, and obnoxious. Hope was whining all the time, Snow was calling himself a hero all the time, Lightning was just being a bitch; only Sazh and Vanille were tolerable at first. The story was okay, but nothing to call home about. The battle system, dear lord, was awful at first. Actually, for most of the game, auto-battle pretty much did the trick. Paradigm shifting? Who needs that when you can mash X. But the game started to get more and more interesting as time went on, and the characters started to flesh out and mature and I'm glad I stuck with it...
But, there are still some flaws in the game that I still have trouble tolerating, namely with the battle system. I have to say, when I heard about the combat system, I thought it would be stupid, but it's actually pretty cool. I like setting the roles, and switching between them with ease, but there are 2 major issues (kind of the same issue) with the battle system that make it hard to deal with.
First, it takes WAY too long to switch paradigms, especially for the first shift of the battle. For a game with a system like this, it's kind of strange that they would have the animations take so much time. Even after the first one, it's too long. Why not just have the like circle things appear under their feet and thats enough. Why's it have to zoom in on each character, one at a time, like a cartoon show, and they all do stupid poses? That should have just been removed, or at least with the option to turn it off. Oh, and of course the enemies will keep hitting you, and your allies will do stuff during this, but you can't, you're too busy watching some stupid posing.
Second, there is sort of a created input lag since the menu things like to dance when you activate them. And when they come into play. So after your turn, the menu will dance into vision, and while that's happening, a whole .5 seconds, you can't do anything. Then you can pick something, cool, then the menu dances out, and dances back in. Then you pick some stuff (maybe a full set of attacks). Then some more menu dancing (or spinning or twirling) then you pick your target and there! You've finally put in your set of commands. With a hasted character, mashing X to just do auto-battle takes 3 whole ATB segments. So if you want to actually try and input the commands manually, you better be fast, or you're going to waste TONS of time. This might seem like nit-picking, but why does the menu have to spin? Why can't it be instantaneous? For a game that has target times for every fight, I'm not sure why they would automatically gimp you like that.
This compounds with the first issue; when you shift, sometimes you get a free fully charged ATB bar but guess what? That doesn't even matter since you can't get through the menu without going through 3 ATB segments worth of time. And that's only with trying to auto-battle, if you want to input commands, you are wasting the whole ATB bar and then some most likely. I just don't understand why this even occurs. It's become a little pet peeve of mine, and unless I'm in a hard fight, I try not to watch the screen and just mash auto-battle (since that works).
All that said, hot damn, this is the easiest FF I've ever played. Right now, I'm 50 hours in, story-wise, I finished Oerba, but I've been doing missions. Nothing has been even remotely difficult yet. I've done missions 1-51 and 55 (yay growth egg), all 5-starred. I usually have to suicide in to find out how to kill a mark (run in, libra libra, note elemental/status resistances, hit retry, develop strat), but there hasn't been anything even nearly hard yet. And I haven't gotten to Crystarium stage 10 yet even. I understand some of the last missions may be hard, but I'd imagine something by now would have made me give up. My plan was to do as many missions as I felt were possible before finishing the game and coming back, but so far, that has been unnecessary. Still, it's not like it's not fun, and at the end of the day, that's the most important thing =)